Although there have been several announcements of would-be Google Glass competitors, none are developed enough to promote themselves as much more than ideas on paper. Except for one.
Telepathy is a Silicon Valley startup who has been working on their Telepathy One headset for over a year and already had a working prototype when they raised their first round of funding, which it did to the tune of $5 million a couple of weeks ago.
Unlike Google Glass, the Telepathy One is a smaller, lighter headset that can be used whether the person wearing them has glasses or not. The name of the device denotes the hopeful vision of its founder, Takahito Iguchi. They plan to bring the One model to market next year.
How the Telepathy One works
The headset prototype was unveiled earlier this year as a hands-free communications device. It wraps around the user’s head in a sort of reverse C-shape, with the opening of the C being at the front. The elongated crescent ends just to the side of either eye.
It has earplugs that hold it in place and provide sound, a small projection screen that projects into the user’s right eye, and the final model will be adjustable to fit the wearer and go around or under his or her glasses, if need be, depending on sight requirements. An application developers kit will be released sometime in the next month or so.
In simple terms, the Telepathy One is a way to view your online reality while on the go. Much like Google Glass, it is mostly meant to interface with our everyday Web apps like Facebook and Twitter, but unlike Google Glass, Iguchi’s vision is to make it a friend-centric device which allows users to more closely tune their viewing through Telepathy (via its app) to seeing what their friends are doing and towards sharing their own doings in real-time.
Video, which will be the device’s primary use, will be through a proprietary app for the Telepathy, which is being created with the involvement of Peter Hoddie of Marvell Semiconductor’s Kinoma platform, whose expertise in video compression will obviously lend a big boost to the company’s capabilities in that department.
Why Google should pay attention
Simply put, the Telepathy One is (planned to be) just as capable as Google Glass, but in a much sleeker, prettier package that is slightly more versatile since it projects directly to the person’s eye. Unlike the comparably bulky Glass, Telepathy One has a far more Apple-like appeal in its simplistic design and techno-carved appearance.
Of course, working prototypes have not been shown to the world yet, only semi-functional ones. That means that Telepathy One, for all its beauty, is not proven to be a reality. Given the advisory board and funding, however, it’s apparent that while they may be delays, Telepathy is very likely to happen.